By MARK J. MILLER
For The Weirton Daily Times
NEW CUMBERLAND -The Fifth Annual Fall River Fest got off to a great start Saturday, with lots of music, plenty of food, temperate weather and good vibes all around.
GOOD TIMES — Kent Cox, left, and Fred Ludovic perform Saturday during the fifth annual Fall River Fest in New Cumberland. The festival, which continues today, included live music, food, arts and crafts and beautiful weather and an evening fireworks display Saturday. -- Mark Miller
The annual festival, situated on the city's scenic pathway along the Ohio River, also included plenty of smiling faces enjoying the day's roster of performers, vendors and excellent weather.
The festival continues today beginning at 11 a.m.
Tammy Jenkins, festival co-organizer, said she was very satisfied with the temperate weather.
"Oh, yes, I'm very happy with the weather and how the festival's going," she said. "This is our fifth year, and it seems it grows every year."
Jenkins said although this year's festival was a done deal, those organizing were welcoming assistance for next year.
"We only have a small handful of people that do all the organizing for this," she said. "We really need people to join our committee. We also really could use more donations."
Jenkins said those interested in donating and volunteering could call (304) 564-3383 extension 200.
While dozens of festival-goers walked and admired the scenic river view, others enjoyed eating and shopping, courtesy of the 44 vendors hawking everything from steaks to jewelry to home-baked cookies. Festival-goers also had a chance to listen to the day's entertainment, which included John Edwards, Kylar Kuzio, Michele's Dance Studio, Kent Cox and Fred Ludovic, the Lazy River Band, the New Silver Eagle Band and fireworks to cap off the evening. Others visited the gallery inside the former city building, which housed artworks created by dozens of local artists. The display was hosted by the Hancock County Arts Council, according to Joyce Beatty, council member.
"We are under the direction of the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitor's Bureau, and they help sponsor this," she said. "Most of the art (displayed here) came in last week. Some of the artists here are the same ones being displayed at the Summit gallery in Weirton."
Beatty said there would be an opening night gala at the Weirton gallery 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday.
"We have about 74 paintings here," continued Beatty. "We have about 34 artists showing."
Nancy Wright, president of the arts council, said the council also was hosting a childrens' art contest during the showing.
"We have pieces here from Mount Lebanon, Pa., and Southside Elementary in Hookstown, Pa.," she said. "We also have (artists showing) from the Hancock County Schools along with St. Joseph School in Weirton and Weirton Madonna High School. We've had a large turnout with the kids."
Wright said the committee meets at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of every month in the commissioners' chambers in the Hancock County Courthouse, and anyone is welcome to attend.
Most vendors seemed to having a good time as well, with many returning veterans of the festival, including Lori Buchanan of New Manchester, who was running two booths, one labeled "Sentsy" and the other "It Works."
"I've been here at the festival for the past three years," she said, adding business had been "good. It's OK. Once the ballgames are over it will pick up."
Other vendors sold hot dogs, pizza, West Virginian University memorabilia, stuffed animals, apparel, burgers, fries, hot dogs caramel apples and even milk shakes.
Sunday's activities begin at 11 a.m., with worship services at various churches followed by a performance by Brad Peck at 12:30 p.m. At 2 p.m. the Little Miss New Cumberland pageant begins, and the day's entertainment will be capped off by a performance by Buffington and Buffington at 3 p.m.